Economic Growth Forecasted for Paragould

PARAGOULD, AR--The Paragould Chamber of Commerce says the economy grew tremendously in the 1990's and that same growth is continuing today.

Since opening in 1994 Utility Trailers has produced over one and a half billion dollars in semi-trailers. They are just one of the industrial companies that contributed to the economy growing over 18% in the 90's

"This workforce continues to set records as far as quality, as far as safety as far as efficiency," said Utility Plant Manager David Neighbors.

Neighbors made the decision to open a plant in Paragould. He chose Paragould because of economic incentives that were offered, its geography and most importantly, its people.

"People have a very creative, can do attitude and we have just been extremely happy with the results we have in Paragould," said Neighbors.

The industrial growth in the 90's is having a trickle down effect on other businesses like restaurants, retail and entertainment like the Paragould Cinema.

"This is a great hub. I think Paragould would be a great entertainment hub, a lot of people come here for the restaurants and stay for the show," said cinema general manager Bobby Wilson.

Wilson feels Paragould is seeing growth because northern Region 8 residents now see it as a destination.

"You got Pocahontas, Walnut Ridge, Marmaduke, Rector, all the surrounding communities, Kennett, Missouri. All the roads just come right here in Paragould," said Wilson.

He feels all the signs are there to support the Chamber of Commerce's prediction of another 18% growth this decade.

"The future, I see where we will probably expand. We will have to in the next few years. You have restaurants popping up all over town we got Chili's recently and others coming in as well," said Wilson.